Bermuda - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Bermuda


Britain's oldest colony, Bermuda, is a land of pink, sandy beaches, clear turquoise seas and picturesque old colonial towns. It is hard now to imagine that sailors knew it as Devil's Island, but the combination of shallow waters and coral reefs caused many shipwrecks in the past, which contibuted to the legend of the 'Bermuda Triangle', which stretches from Bermuda to Florida and Puerto Rico. Today, however, the reefs provide a wonderful playground for swimming, snorkelling, and diving.

Bermuda is an archipelago comprised of approximately 200 coral islands and islets located 650 miles (1,045km) off the east coast of America in the Atlantic Ocean. The bulk of the country consists of the seven main islands linked to each other by causeways and bridges and stretches just 20 miles (32km) from tip to tail.

Most visitors to the islands are American citizens who think of it fondly as very English in character. British visitors, on the other hand, seem to feel that it has a strongly American flavour. In truth, Bermuda has a distinct atmosphere that draws its influences from American and British traditions merged with local island culture. Business attire might constitute a jacket and tie with Bermuda shorts, while bikinis are banned further than 25 feet (7.5m) away from the water!

With its mixture of colonial style and its close proximity to America, Bermuda has become a centre of high finance as well as one of the world's most coveted holiday destinations. Generous tax advantages and satellite communications have induced a stream of major corporations to set up offices on the island, and have helped the country become one of the richest, per capita, in the world.

Because of its natural beauty and close proximity to Florida, Bermuda is a very popular destination for both cruise ships and yachts. Over 200,000 people visit the islands from cruise ships every year.

Information & Facts


Bermuda's economy is dominated by tourism and international financial services. Business etiquette is conservative, and businessmen and women should stick to formal dress or lightweight suits. For meetings, punctuality is important, people are greeted with handshakes, and business cards are exchanged. Business hours are generally 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.


Bermuda weather features a very mild climate with few extremes of hot or cold. Temperatures in winter average 68°F (20°C) and 86°F (30°C) in mid-summer. The most popular time to visit is between April and October when the sea temperatures are favourable for swimming. Some facilities are limited in the winter months but room rates are much cheaper over this period. If however one is primarily interested in playing tennis or golf, this is the time to come. Short but heavy showers can occur during any time of the year so it is advisable to bring suitable clothing.


The international access code for Bermuda is +1, in common with the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean, followed by 441. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom); no outgoing code is needed to call the US. Mobile phones operate on a GSM 1900 network. Internet cafes are widely available.


As a general rule, dress conservatively. Bathing suits are acceptable only on the beach, and it is considered an offence to appear in public without a shirt. Casual sportswear can be worn in restaurants during the day, but in the evening men should dress more formally with slacks and a shirt. Good manners are expected, and asking a question without first offering a proper greeting is considered extremely rude. Nude or semi-nude bathing is not permitted in Bermuda.

Duty Free

Travellers to Bermuda over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 0.5kg tobacco; and 1 litre liquor and 1 litre wine. Duty may have to be paid on perfume and gifts. Spearguns are prohibited.

Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. US two-pin plugs and one with round grounding pin are used.
Getting Around

To get around in Bermuda, you cannot hire a car, although you can choose from a bicycle, scooter, or even a horse and carriage! There is a reliable bus system that services the entire country, and you can get a free schedule from any tourist office. Buses generally run from 6:30am to around 11pm, and can be crowded at peak commuting hours. There are usually metred taxis waiting around major hotels and tourist attractions.


There are no specific health risks for visitors to Bermuda and medical care is of a high standard. Health insurance is recommended, as medical treatment is expensive. Food and water are considered safe for consumption.

English is the official language.

The Bermudan Dollar (BMD) is divided into 100 cents, and is tied to the US Dollar (US$1=BD$1). US currency is accepted almost everywhere and other major currencies can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change. Banking hours vary, though most are open weekdays from 9am to 4.30pm. Visa, MasterCard and American Express, and travellers cheques are widely accepted and ATMs are extensively available. To avoid additional charges, it is best to carry travellers cheques in US dollars. Visitors are advised to exchange all their Bermudan Dollars before leaving, as it is impossible to exchange once outside the country.

Passport Visa

All visitors must hold a return or onward ticket and any documents required for further travel. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If departing from the USA a valid passport will be required by immigration authorities.


Bermuda is relatively crime-free but visitors should exercise the necessary precautions to safeguard personal possessions. Care should be taken after dark, avoiding quieter, poorly lit streets in particular. The use of 'date rape' drugs is on the increase. Hurricane season normally runs from June to November.

GMT -4 (GMT -3 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).

If not included in the bill, a 15% tip is generally expected at restaurants and hotels. Taxi drivers are usually tipped 10%. All Bermuda hotels add a hotel tax of 7.25% to the bill at check-out.

Home to over 200 species of fish, the Bermuda Aquarium is a fantastic place to spend the day with the kids exploring marine life and coral exhibits. The zoo is home to more than 300 birds, reptiles and mammals from the oceanic islands. The Natural History Museum is also located here giving kids more than enough variety to keep themselves entertained.

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